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So You Want to Go to Work? Innovative Employment Options for Clients who are Blind or Visually Impaired


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a number of aspects of vocational rehabilitation and employment for persons who are blind or visually impaired. One aspect, however, that remains constant are the emergence of new and innovative ways to enable clients of the VR system to obtain employment. This webinar provides an overview of four such aspects.


  • Jonathan Lucas, Executive Director of NSITE

    Jonathan has more than 18 years of workforce development experience supporting people with disabilities, immigrants, and other underserved populations. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and State Department, the European Union, and numerous countries on workforce issues, including serving as a State Department fellow advising the Egyptian Parliament and several ministries on implementation of national disability workforce initiatives. His contributions to migrant workforce integration and training programs have been recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees as an international best practice. Currently working on a doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, he holds an executive master’s degree in leadership from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

  • Nancy Parkin-Bashizi, M.A., COMS, CVRT

    Nancy Parkin-Bashizi earned her Master’s Degree in Orientation and Mobility and Rehabilitation Teaching for the Blind from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock in 1995. This year she celebrates her 25th anniversary of employment at Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia. For the majority of her time with VRS she has worked as an itinerant teacher, providing O&M, VRT and Job Readiness Training services to clients of all ages.

    For about 8 years, Nancy served as the Program Director and Lead Teacher at VRS. In this role she worked to develop new programs to meet the changing needs of clients and provide support and training to her teaching staff. VRS proudly supports professional training programs and hosts at least one OM or VRT intern each summer. Over the past 25 years Nancy has helped guide many new teachers into the field. Though Nancy is originally from Canada she officially became a US citizen in May 2015.

    In 2012 Nancy earned her certificate in The Rehabilitation of Persons who are deaf-blind from Northern Illinois University and has used this knowledge to help build programs at VRS that provide training and support to clients who are hard of hearing and / or deaf-blind. Helping her staff learn the skills needed to work with this special group of clients is one of the achievements of which she is most proud.

    Nancy has given numerous presentations on many aspects of Vision Loss and Vision Rehabilitation at professional conferences and in-service trainings throughout Georgia and the Southeast. In addition she has on occasion been an adjunct Professor for the VRT Program at Salus University. Most recently, Nancy has joined the board of GA AER, GA Blind Sports and is a member of ACVREP VRT SME committee.

  • Ian Shadrick, EdD, CRC, CVRT, FNRCA

    Ian has been a state administrator of vocational rehabilitation services for transition and children’s services, rehabilitation counselor, vision rehabilitation therapist, and blind rehabilitation instructor. Additionally, his prior experience includes serving as university faculty and graduate program coordinator of blindness and low vision, international educator, private consultant, federal consultant to the DoD and VA on blindness and vocational rehabilitation, and research associate at a national technical assistance center on post-secondary transition.

    Ian is a past chair of the VRT division, and AER board member for adult services. In addition to his role as Chair-Elect of Division 2, he also serves on the international board as the adult services representative and the Chair of the Council of Division Chairs (CDC). He is also a Past President, and currently President Elect of the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association, where he holds the rank of Fellow (FNRCA). He is also Secretary of the Association of Vision Rehabilitation Therapists. Dr. Shadrick is a certified rehabilitation counselor and certified vision rehabilitation therapist. His research focus on factors affecting employment for those with blindness or dual-sensory loss, access technology, transition services, personnel preparation, and legislation.

  • Colleen Wunderlich

January 11, 2022
Tue 12:00 PM EST

Duration 1H 30M

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